I am currently planning my migration from Windows XP to Windows 7. Since there is no way to do an 'in-place' upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7, I normally would need to back-up my current system. But this migration also happens to fall into my personal three year workstation cycle, so this will be a 'side-by-side' migration.
As I have written in a previous blog, Upgrading your computer cheaply (part 1), I have two theories on computers:
1." Infant Mortality" is the belief that if it will run for a day (24 hours), it will run for it's lifetime.
2. A computer "Lifetime", from my experience, is three years from start of service. At three years or older, it's not 'if' it will break down, but 'when' will it break down. Just like a car, the older it gets, the more repairs it will need.
My current system has hit three years in production and has developed a couple issues. I built a system to beta test Windows 7 on (see Beta testing Windows 7 - Part3 and Custom Cases: The Antec Skeleton) and am going to migrate over to this workstation.
I usually back-up all documents, photos, etc. and then make an image of the hard drive. I then reformat the hard drive and reinstall the operating system. I then will install all of the applications and restore my documents. All custom settings done to the previous operating system will be lost, but this is to be expected with a 'clean' installation.
Since migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7 requires reformatting the hard drive and performing a clean installation, there is one feature in Windows 7 I find really nice. The product key for Windows 7 can be used to install either the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 7.
As I wrote in the blog Beta testing Windows 7 - Part 2 how I felt that the 64-bit version of Windows 7 was the way to go, I am going with Windows 7 64-bit. In the following articles, I will chronicle my endeavors.